Social Events in 1920s High Society. By Fish

Jul 2, 2024 | 1910, 1920s, Anne Fish, Illustration, Trends, Vanity Fair

Can you guess whos' in th stage?

Can You Guess Who’s on the Stage. Detail from Who’s Who in the Audience.

A Pictorial Guide to Life in Upper Circles. Part Two.


This is the second story about Anne Fish’s work documenting and satirizing High Society at the turn of 1920.
The double-page plates were first published in Vanity Fair between 1914 and 1920 and then re-published in the splendid book “High Society. Hints on how to Attain, Relish – and Survive It. A Pictorial Guide to Life in our Upper Circles.”, published in December 1920.

Any double-page plate focuses on a specific topic providing a unique, rich lens into American and international high society’s lifestyles of the 1910s and 1920s. Rigorously in black and white, these inimitable sketches are completed with entertaining captions.
We grouped the plates into six sections, each on a main topic. This second one is on “Social Events in 1920s High Society”.
Index to High Society 1920s Stories.

The Opening of the Social Season, from “High Society”, pages 02-03. By Anne Fish 1920 How the Members of the Beau Monde Will Spend What Is Left of Their War-time Incomes.

The Opening of the Social Season.
How the Members of the Beau Monde Will Spend What Is Left of Their War-time Incomes.
Initially published in Vanity Fair, November 1917.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

THE ART SHOWS.

Below we see the opening of the Vorticist Sculpture Salon, a debauch in marble that always brings out a full quota of the artistic cognoscenti of the town. Bohemia always appears in goodly numbers at these charming little revels in stone.

The extraordinary thing about much of the new sculpture is that it looks like illustrations for those wonderful books on hygiene, in which ladies’ are taking their matutinal exercises—by correspondence, of course. Take, for instance, the case of the delicate little gem entitled “Love” in this illustration. Captain De Pluyster who is viewing it in company with his fiancée, Miss Corinna Walpole, is listening to her: “Oh, that’s an easy one. I do that twenty times, every morning, just before my bath.”

TOPIC LIST:

THE RESTAURANTS
THE HORSE SHOW
THE ART SHOWS
THE FASHION FÊTES

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

THE ART SHOWS.

Below we see the opening of the Vorticist Sculpture Salon, a debauch in marble that always brings out a full quota of the artistic cognoscenti of the town. Bohemia always appears in goodly numbers at these charming little revels in stone.

The extraordinary thing about much of the new sculpture is that it looks like illustrations for those wonderful books on hygiene, in which ladies’ are taking their matutinal exercises—by correspondence, of course. Take, for instance, the case of the delicate little gem entitled “Love” in this illustration. Captain De Pluyster who is viewing it in company with his fiancée, Miss Corinna Walpole, is listening to her: “Oh, that’s an easy one. I do that twenty times, every morning, just before my bath.”

TOPIC LIST:

THE RESTAURANTS
THE HORSE SHOW
THE ART SHOWS
THE FASHION FÊTES

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

The Opera in Full Blast, from “High Society”, pages 04-05. Art by Anne Fish 1920

The Opera in Full Blast.
A Few Fashionable Little Variations on the Oldest Theme in the World.
Initially published in Vanity Fair, January 1918.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

HOME, SEET HOME.

Below, you will behold a little scene in Pneumonia Alley otherwise known as the lobby of the opera. It is here that all of our best people gather, after the opera, and wait for hours for their flunkeys and limousines. Fashionable personages are really much cleverer than mere people are wont to suppose. After twenty years of hard study, they have finally devised a system by which — after the opera — they can wait around in the lobby for their motors and reach their houses only an hour later than they would if they left by the main door and picked up a passing taxi.

TOPIC LIST:

AN OPERATIC DUET.
HOME, SWEET HOME.
HEARTS AND FLOWERS.
THE SPELL OF MUSIC.

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

HOME, SEET HOME.

Below, you will behold a little scene in Pneumonia Alley otherwise known as the lobby of the opera. It is here that all of our best people gather, after the opera, and wait for hours for their flunkeys and limousines. Fashionable personages are really much cleverer than mere people are wont to suppose. After twenty years of hard study, they have finally devised a system by which — after the opera — they can wait around in the lobby for their motors and reach their houses only an hour later than they would if they left by the main door and picked up a passing taxi.

TOPIC LIST:

AN OPERATIC DUET.
HOME, SWEET HOME.
HEARTS AND FLOWERS.
THE SPELL OF MUSIC.

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

Getting On, in Smart Society, from “High Society”, pages 08-09. By Anne Fish 1920 If, at First, You Don't Succeed, Dine 'em and Dine 'em Again Initially published in Vanity Fair, October 1916 with title GETTING ON IN NEW YORK SOCIETY If at First You Don’t Succeed, Dine ‘em and Dine ‘em again THE PEN AND THE INKS BY FISH

Getting On, in Smart Society.
If, at First, You Don’t Succeed, Dine ’em and Dine ’em Again
Initially published in Vanity Fair, October 1916.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

HEARTS AND DIAMONDS.

The Higgingbothams were told that they could do nothing without a social secretary. They accordingly engaged Miss Audrey De Vere, a young lady of lineage. Audrey smokes, drinks, and plays “poker”: she also knows how to get first-night tickets at the theatres and an outside table at a cabaret. She can mix eleven different kinds of cocktails with only one bottle of gin, one lemon, two bottles of Vermouth and a single olive. She is engaged to a war hero — her vis-a-vis at this table. The dinner has been cleared away and Audrey and her friends have just finished a little session with the cards. Net result: the T. Pennypacker Higgingbothams are minus the value of one small Texas oil well.

TOPIC LIST:

IN THE INTELLECTUAL SET.
HEARTS AND DIAMONDS.
THE RECEPTION COMMITTEE.
THE ATTACK ON BOHEMIA.
SUCCESS AT LAST.
HE’S A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW.

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

HEARTS AND DIAMONDS.

The Higgingbothams were told that they could do nothing without a social secretary. They accordingly engaged Miss Audrey De Vere, a young lady of lineage. Audrey smokes, drinks, and plays “poker”: she also knows how to get first-night tickets at the theatres and an outside table at a cabaret. She can mix eleven different kinds of cocktails with only one bottle of gin, one lemon, two bottles of Vermouth and a single olive. She is engaged to a war hero — her vis-a-vis at this table. The dinner has been cleared away and Audrey and her friends have just finished a little session with the cards. Net result: the T. Pennypacker Higgingbothams are minus the value of one small Texas oil well.

TOPIC LIST:

IN THE INTELLECTUAL SET.
HEARTS AND DIAMONDS.
THE RECEPTION COMMITTEE.
THE ATTACK ON BOHEMIA.
SUCCESS AT LAST.
HE’S A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW.

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

Who’s Who—in the Audience. Art Anne Fish 1920, Text by Dorothy Parker - High Society, pages 48-49. Showing That the Smart Playgoer, Not the Smart Play, Is Really the Thing.

Who’s Who—in the Audience.
Showing That the Smart Playgoer, Not the Smart Play, Is Really the Thing.
Initially published in Vanity Fair, April 1919.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

CAN YOU GUESS WHO’S ON THE STAGE?

You can always tell, by looking at the audience, just who is holding the center of the stage. When the masculine half of the audience occupies itself in reading the corset advertisements in the programmes or in looking restlessly about while the feminine half strains to catch every word—then you can be sure that the marcelled hero, in the jet-buttoned evening clothes, with the velvet collar, is standing in the spotlight and singing, or talking, rhapsodically about the age-old passion of LOVE.

TOPIC LIST:

IT’S ALL IN THE LINES.
CINEMA LOVERS.
CAN YOU GUESS WHO’S ON THE STAGE?
DOUBLE ENTENDRES.
FOR THE CHILDREN’S SAKE.
CAN YOU GUESS WHO’S ON THE STAGE NOW?

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

CAN YOU GUESS WHO’S ON THE STAGE?

You can always tell, by looking at the audience, just who is holding the center of the stage. When the masculine half of the audience occupies itself in reading the corset advertisements in the programmes or in looking restlessly about while the feminine half strains to catch every word—then you can be sure that the marcelled hero, in the jet-buttoned evening clothes, with the velvet collar, is standing in the spotlight and singing, or talking, rhapsodically about the age-old passion of LOVE.

TOPIC LIST:

IT’S ALL IN THE LINES.
CINEMA LOVERS.
CAN YOU GUESS WHO’S ON THE STAGE?
DOUBLE ENTENDRES.
FOR THE CHILDREN’S SAKE.
CAN YOU GUESS WHO’S ON THE STAGE NOW?

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

Opening of the Opera Season - Blighters at Bridge. Art Anne Fish 1920, Text by Dorothy Parker - High Society, pages 54-55 A Terrifying Triumvirate of Familiar Lady Auction Pests

Opening of the Opera Season – Blighters at Bridge.
A Terrifying Triumvirate of Familiar Lady Auction Pests.
Initially published in Vanity Fair, August 1920.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

THE POOR, INNOCENT VICTIM.

What type of bridge player is the most spirit-blighting? Some favor the talking player; some the cheat — but we must vote, on every ballot, for the three girlies mirrored on this page. First, there is the creature shown above, who, after losing five rubbers, suddenly registers horror with the orbs, and exclaims in dismay: ” Heavens! are we playing for money? I never dreamed of such a thing! I never play for anything!” Note the indifference of the other participants — intensified by financial anguish.

TOPIC LIST:

OPENING OF THE OPERA SEASON.
THE POOR, INNOCENT VICTIM.
THE BLIGHTER, PAR EXCELLENCE.
THE HOODOO-ED DOWAGER

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

THE POOR, INNOCENT VICTIM.

What type of bridge player is the most spirit-blighting? Some favor the talking player; some the cheat — but we must vote, on every ballot, for the three girlies mirrored on this page. First, there is the creature shown above, who, after losing five rubbers, suddenly registers horror with the orbs, and exclaims in dismay: ” Heavens! are we playing for money? I never dreamed of such a thing! I never play for anything!” Note the indifference of the other participants — intensified by financial anguish.

TOPIC LIST:

OPENING OF THE OPERA SEASON.
THE POOR, INNOCENT VICTIM.
THE BLIGHTER, PAR EXCELLENCE.
THE HOODOO-ED DOWAGER

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

Social Superstitions. Art Anne Fish 1920, Text by Dorothy Parker - High Society, pages 46-47 With Very Special Obeisances to Cupid

Social Superstitions.
With Very Special Obeisances to Cupid.
Initially published in Vanity Fair, October 1920 with title Social Superstitions Lovelorn sketches 

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

SALT AND BATTERY.

Because Clarice Vanderhoff almost fainted when her fiancé, Teddy Ashhurst, spilled the salt, Ted natural! placated the Unknown Gods by throwing a handful of the offending seasoning over his left shoulder with his right hand. This is undoubtedly very pleasing to the Fates and Goddesses of Chance, but hardly as agreeable to the charming Mrs. Drexel-Drexel who, quite naturally, objects to being salted, like an almond — particularly in public.

TOPIC LIST:

THE SHEEP—AND THE GOAT.
THE SUIT AND THE SUITOR.
THE WORST IS YET TO COME .
SALT AND BATTERY .
THE CROIX DE COUTEAUX .
DANGEROUS DIANA.

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

EXCERPT FROM THE CAPTIONS

SALT AND BATTERY.

Because Clarice Vanderhoff almost fainted when her fiancé, Teddy Ashhurst, spilled the salt, Ted natural! placated the Unknown Gods by throwing a handful of the offending seasoning over his left shoulder with his right hand. This is undoubtedly very pleasing to the Fates and Goddesses of Chance, but hardly as agreeable to the charming Mrs. Drexel-Drexel who, quite naturally, objects to being salted, like an almond — particularly in public.

TOPIC LIST:

THE SHEEP—AND THE GOAT.
THE SUIT AND THE SUITOR.
THE WORST IS YET TO COME .
SALT AND BATTERY .
THE CROIX DE COUTEAUX .
DANGEROUS DIANA.

The full text is available in the metadata of the hi-res file in the shop.

High Society 1920s Stories. Index

PUBLISHED:

American 1920s High Society’s lifestyles, as seen by Anne Fish
Flirting, Engagement, Wedding & Divorce in High Society.
High Society's Social Events.

COMING SOON:

1920s High Society & Art.
1920s High Society's Weekends.
1920s High Society. Life Behind Aristocratic Doors.
1920s High Society. Sports and Leisure.
1910s High Society and World War I

Browse all "Anne Fish" Stories


Flirting, Engagement, Weddings & Divorce in 1920s High Society. By Fish

Flirting, Engagement, Weddings & Divorce in 1920s High Society. By Fish

A first compilation of pages from Vanity Fair and the book “High Society” on Flirting, Engagement, Weddings & Divorce, illustrated by Anne Fish.
Any double-page plate focuses on a specific topic providing a unique, rich lens into American and international high society’s lifestyles of the 1910s and 1920s. Rigorously in black and white, these inimitable sketches are completed with entertaining captions.

read more
Abdulla Cigarettes 1921. Mélisande at Montecarlo, by Anne Fish

Abdulla Cigarettes 1921. Mélisande at Montecarlo, by Anne Fish

The full 1921 Abdulla ad campaign in the French magazine “La Vie Parisienne.” The star is Mélisande, a wealthy, young, elegant, and beautiful Parisian who goes to Monte Carlo to try her luck at the casino. Here she meets an elegant Englishman who woos her and with whom she gets engaged and finally marries three days before New Year’s Eve; her life unfolds between suitors, losses, and wins at the table and a lifestyle of unbridled luxury.

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About Anne Fish.


Anne Harriet Fish Sifton Portrait 1915

Annie Harriet Fish Sefton (1890-1964) was a British cartoonist and illustrator. She is best known as "Fish," her maiden name, and how she signed her works.
In England, from 1914 to 1919, she illustrated for "The Tatler" a famous column, "The Letters of Eve."
From 1914 to 1932, she drew hundreds of striking cartoons for Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan in the US, showcasing her versatility and adaptability as an artist.
From 1919 to 1932, she drew eleven campaigns for Abdulla, published in French on "La Vie Parisienne" and in English on "Punch," "The Sketch," and "The Sphere."

Her books include High Society (1920), The Eve Book (1920), and Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1922).

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